Lady Wilcox had been rather a good minister in my view. For instance, she had backed patent reform opening the first WIPO patents symposium in London on 6 March 2012. That is one of the objectives of the IPO's international strategy (see "The UK’s International Strategy for Intellectual Property" 11 Aug 2012). I saw her at the "Cracking Ideas" awards ceremony in Wallasey in June (see "Cracking Ideas: My Encounter with Wallace & Gromit" NIPC Inventors Club blog 20 June 2012). Lord Ashcroft has apparently described the sacking of good ministers as "mystifying" (see "Lord Ashcroft: Reshuffle was 'mystifying'" Independent 15 September 2012). In Lady Wilcox's case I am inclined to agree.
Whether rightly or wrongly she has gone and we must welcome Lord Marland and wish him every success. He takes office at a crucial moment with the implementation of the Hargreaves report. If I had to choose a Minister for Intellectual Property I would consider Sharon Bowles MEP who is at least a patent agents as well as Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. There is no reason why she could not have been ennobled but perhaps she prefers to stay where she is.